Did Kellerman Justify a Decision Citing the Market Place?

By Bill Ethan (SBB) - Following the controversial Diaz / Malignaggi decision HBO boxing analyst Max Kellerman was first spotted by Juan Diaz before slickly sided stepping Paulie Malignaggi’s direct question on the scoring of the fight. The interview started with Kellerman questioning Diaz. “Juan, lets start with you. That was a lot of fun to watch. How was it to fight?” “Isn’t it always fun to watch Max..

“It’s always fun to watch, Juan.” But when it’s your job to analyze the fight and your questioned please stand up like the you have described and give the fight fan what they expect lets us know where you stand. Kellerman instead slips the shot like Willie Pep.

Then after saying, “everyone deserves a faire shake and there is no excuse for a fighter for not getting a fair shake under any circumstances. However; the marketplace spoke tonight, Paulie Malignaggi it’s not as though he could have not cultivated an ethnic following in New York. He has to some degree an Italian fighting out of New York city but given his style and his lack of punching power he has not been able to cultivate the kind following that Juan Diaz has been able to here in Houston with a Mexican and Mexican American fight crowd that really appreciates and just fight fans generally that really appreciates his style of fighting the fact that every Juan Diaz fight is always exciting and so for that reason Juan Diaz winds up with the powerful promoter and the hometown decision, possibly if you consider this a hometown decision and so even thought every fighter deserves always fair shake I think here the market place spoke and Juan Diaz gets the nod.”

Does “However” mean the marketplace in now a judge or the hometown fans vote or did he even hint that an ethnic following somehow should influence a decision? We all know it does each fighter following and that the size of the following is what makes a fighter attractive to a promoter but to insinuate that it should some how play in a decision is just wrong. After the fight Diaz was very humble even calling for applause for Malignaggi.

When Malignaggi was interviewed he asked Kellerman about the scoring and Kellerman responded that “ringside Harold Ledderman had scored it 7-5, I thought that was about right, I thought it was competitive”. Paulie questions 7-5 me, Kellerman responds “Harold did have that.” He himself never commits.

Maybe it’s not his job but HBO analyst Lennox Lewis put himself on the line calling it for Malignaggi and analyst Bob Papa appearing surprised at Kellermans rant said “it was a one or two point fight either way, or possibly a draw” and with all that said it was great performance by Juan Diaz and Paulie Malignaggi.

I agree with Bob it was a good fight by both fighters and I scored it a draw. There were no big rounds either way with Diaz scoring the higher number of power punches 123-80 and Malignaggi controlling the action with his jab 2-1 (111-55). There were no knockdowns, no real big rounds and the biggest punch of the fight was a Malignaggi right cutting Diaz left eye I had it a draw.

Now after questioning Kellerman’s marketplace reasoning I almost feel like a punk scoring the fight a draw. But after a very close fight with Malignaggi knowing all he said about fighting in his opponent’s hometown he should have put it all on the line in the final round. But that gives him a draw, not a loss or an excuse for his lose or his verbal run on after the bout. But backing up my call if he wins the last round he wins the fight. To even suggest that a promotional backing or a market place has influence on the decision and it its still a fair shake would only add to the list of reasons people like Senator John McCain call for boxing reform. Max call it what it was an unfair scoring.

All that aside while assuming the market place doesn’t submit a scorecard if there was ever a call for a rematch this would be it. How would Diaz or the market place or his promotional company (Golden Boy) feel about a rematch in the Madison Square Garden. On that note, to his credit Golden Boy promoter Oscar DeLaHoya questioned the lopsided scoring following the bout.

Hopefully this slip was a time restraint or something Max is usually right on.

Article posted on 23.08.2009

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